Does Your Team Have Perseverance?

At the beginning of relationships, with new teams, and with new projects in business, there is often a lot of logical discussion regarding the best idea and how to implement it. We discuss both the “what” and the “how”. When others are involved in the decision (e.g., for an acquisition, funding a project, a joint venture, a new important hire), people consider logic and debate over what should happen, who should be involved, how it impacts the overall strategy, does this fit the succession plan, what about cash flow planning, etc.

These discussions are important, however, they may be missing the most important element: do the participants have the stomach for when things get tough?  Does the team have perseverance to continue toward the end goal, even if it sometimes seems like they’ll never get there?

Experienced business professionals invest a little less time on the logic piece and instead work to understand if the people/person/team involved has the strength, persistence, and mettle to handle it when the wheels come off. The most important projects are those with some risk and some unknown territory, since they often result in the biggest leaps forward. Webster defines this aspect of personality as grit: courage and resolve; strength of character.

When you have a big opportunity or a challenge that has unfamiliar terrain, ask yourself and the team and/or key people:

  1. Do they have experience in handling the unknown? What is their track record?
  2. What are some of the toughest situations they have ever been in and what tools did they use to keep going and effectively handle the challenges?
  3. Are they good at circling the wagons and helping to keep others fresh, creative, and progressing when it looks like failure may be imminent?
  4. “Why” would they be willing to keep going in the difficult circumstances (e.g., personal pride, enjoying the game, wanting to do what others consider impossible)?

If the team has thought and felt through these issues ahead of time, it is much more likely that when the going gets tough, they will keep going!

Consider another example and also share this with your team(s). Pull up the video from the link below. Watch what happens as Jack Groppel compares the results of sending a group of NFL players on a routine task compared with a group of FBI agents sent to accomplish the same task. While it is certainly amusing, it reinforces planning ahead and knowing how the team will react to challenges that come across their path as they strive toward a goal. (Link:

For our list of best books, videos and exercises related to teams, leaders and culture, contact us at 800-786-4332. If you are ready to assess your team and achieve more than you thought possible, email us at to set up a brief conversation about how we can work together on your most important priorities.






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